How to sync LED lights to music

Written by caprice castano
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How to sync LED lights to music
A circuit of LEDs can be connected to speakers to pulse to the music. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Nothing beats a light show to music, and especially an LED light show you can make yourself. LEDs are light-emitting diodes that run on a very small amount of power. When connected to an audio source, such as a pair of computer speakers, the lights will flash in response to the pulses in the music. Putting it together isn't as difficult as it seems, and just think how cool your new light show, and you, will be when you've done it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • LEDs
  • Resistors
  • Soldering gun
  • Soldering wire
  • Shrink tubing or clear plastic resin
  • Computer speakers or speakers with wire-ended power leads
  • LED light string
  • D2W203F relay
  • Utility knife
  • Extra power cord
  • Plug adaptor
  • Small piece of coated wire
  • Screwdriver
  • Hot glue gun

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    Small Handmade Circuit

  1. 1

    Purchase LEDs and the corresponding size resistors. Create a circuit by soldering a resistor to the first LED. Solder the right lead on the resistor to the left lead of the LED with a small bead of solder. You can continue to add LEDs to the string if you desire by attaching a left lead, or anode, of the first LED to the right lead, or anode, of the next LED, and so on.

  2. 2

    Encase your LED string by either shrink tubing the solders by sliding shrink tube over the wires and heating it, but not covering the LEDs; or by pouring resin over it and letting it harden. This works well if you are making a permanent structure display.

  3. 3

    Wire each end of the LED circuit to the power wires of the speaker --- the positive end of the LED to the negative speaker wire, the negative LED to the positive speaker wire.

  4. 4

    Insert the speaker and LED circuit wires into the clips at the back of the speakers. Connect the opposite end of the speaker wires to the audio source. Turn on the music and watch the show.

    Commercially Made LED string

  1. 1

    Open the back of one of the speakers using a screwdriver. Heat the connections between the speaker itself and the wires with a soldering gun, and remove the speaker.

  2. 2

    Solder the two speaker wires to the positive and negative poles on one side of the relay.

  3. 3

    Cut a small hole in the back of the speaker casing and slide the extra power cord into the casing.

  4. 4

    Cut two small notches to fit the cord adaptor into the end of the speaker housing so that you can slide the adaptor into the bottom of the speaker casing snugly.

  5. 5

    Strip the ends of the power cord and separate the wires. Twist the end of the positive wire into the hole at the end of one of the prongs on the adaptor plug. Solder the negative wire to the relay on the inside pole of the two remaining open on the relay.

  6. 6

    Strip about 1/2 inch of the piece of extra wire and solder it to the remaining pole of the relay. Then twist the other end around the prong of the adaptor plug, running it through the hole, then bending it over and twisting together.

  7. 7

    Replace the speaker cover without the speaker in place. Hot glue around the adaptor plug so it does not move.

  8. 8

    Plug the string of LED lights into the plug adaptor. Connect your speaker to the power source and the audio source, and turn it on. The lights will flash in sync with the music.

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